It takes 12 months — or around 365.25 days, 8,766 hours, 525,960 minutes or 31,557,600 seconds — for a full orbit of the Earth around the sun. It almost has been that long since the last ball drop in New York's Times Square, the last change of the solar calendar and the last time we've been on winter break. 2012 is about to come to an end, but there are some things that happened this year that we won't soon forget. January Beyonce Knowles and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter welcome their first child, Blue Ivy. Protesters gather from all over the Internet and in several cities to protest the anti-piracy bills of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). The anti-piracy bills are postponed by Congress after seeing public outrage. February The N.Y. Giants win Super Bowl 46, beating the New England Patriots 21-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Pop star Whitney Houston dies at age 48 from an accidental drowning in a bathtub. She reportedly had been taking drugs. Adele sweeps the Grammy awards, winning record of the year and song of the year for "Rolling in the Deep," and album of the year for "21," among other awards. Unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is shot in Sanford, Fla., by 26-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, setting off a controversy about race and gun ownership. Chardon (Ohio) High School student Thomas "T.J." Lane is arrested in the shooting of five students, three of whom died. March Encyclopaedia Britannica cuts publication of its print edition after more than 240 years to focus on online encyclopedias. April Facebook buys Instagram for $715 million in cash and stock. "The Lion King" becomes the highest grossing Broadway show, surpassing "Phantom of the Opera." Kim Kardashian and Kanye West go public about their relationship. May President Obama declares his support for gay marriage. June The L.A. Kings win their first Stanley Cup. The Miami Heat win the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lonesome George, the last of the Pinta Island tortoises, dies at an estimated 100 years old. This leaves the Pinta Island tortoises extinct. Actress Katie Holmes files for divorce from Tom Cruise after five years of marriage. July The "Gangnam Style" video by Psy is posted on YouTube and later sets the Guinness World Record for most likes in YouTube history, breaking LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" record (1,574,963 likes) with 2,141,758 likes. James Holmes, is arrested in connection with a shooting in Aurora, Colo., movie theater of 70 people at a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises." Twelve people are killed and 58 injured. The 2012 Summer Olympics kick off in London. During the Games, the American women's gymnastic team wins the all-round gold medal. August Michael Phelps wins his 18th gold medal and becomes the most decorated Olympic athlete with a total of 22 medals. The Curiosity rover lands on Mars. "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen marks its ninth week on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and sparks hundreds of covers and parody videos online. Cyclist Lance Armstrong gives up his fight against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs and later stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. September More than 26,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff members go on strike until Sept. 18. A terrorist attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, kills four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, and injures 10 others. The NHL goes on a lockout. The iPhone 5 is released, selling 2 million devices on the first day. October Felix Baumgartner, 43, becomes the first "space diver," skydiving almost 25 miles from the stratosphere and breaking the sound barrier on his way down. It also makes Baumgartner the first person to break the sound barrier without the use of a vehicle. Hurricane Sandy makes landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. and batters the East Coast, killing more than 130 people in the U.S. and Canada, and also causing power shortages, flooding and other damages in the billions. Sandy also hit Cuba, Jamaica and Haiti and killed at least 69 people in the Caribbean. November President Barack Obama wins his second presidential term, getting 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. The Internet buzzes about singer Justin Bieber's and Selena Gomez' split after dating for a year and a half. British boy band One Direction's second album, "Take Me Home," sells 540,000 copies in its first week. Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, said it asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to go out of business and lay off more than 18,500 workers. The announcement also sets off a buying frenzy for Twinkies and other Hostess products. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress, citing his treatment for his bipolar disorder and ethics allegations. December Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter after teammate and friend Jerry Brown Jr. dies in a car crash. Boxer Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round — the fourth time they've fought. Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera dies in a plane crash in northern Mexico. Twenty year-old Adam Lanza kills 28 people in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The Mash is a teen edition of the Chicago Tribune produced by high school students. Read more at themash.com
Today is Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013. There are 220 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The annual review of the fire department of this city took placeyesterday and made a fine showing with machines and hose carts in tip-top order. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Last night's prayer meeting at Central Presbyterian Church wascalled off due to water in the basement, residue of last week's flood. 1913 -- 100 years ago: The junior class of Rock Island High School will hold a riverexcursion on the steamer St. Paul next Tuesday. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The 75th Anniversary of the Rock Island Arsenal today finds thenation's largest ordinance manufacturing plant filling many important orders for the army. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Miss Patrice Daly, Rock Island, a senior at Rock Island HighSchool, won second place in the recent state public speaking contest held in Peoria underthe auspices of the Knights of Pythias. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Hampton's sesquicentennial committee and the Hampton HistoricalSociety have scheduled a full slate of activities, which will be held throughout the year, to celebrate the village's 150th birthday. The first celebration will be the Memorial Dayprogram at 10 a.m. May 30, at the Brettun and Black Store Museum on River Road. Therewill be a sesquicentennial display.